According to the Associated Press, Jason Mraz’s laid-back, lo-fi single, “I’m Yours,” has had the longest run of any song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The tune, which charted in May 2008, has spent 71 weeks on the Billboard singles chart. According to AP, the song has been a staple of his live set for five years, and the fans’ varied reactions to the song, was what prompted him to record it. Two years into a tour spent supporting the platinum-selling We Sing, We Dance, We Still Things, Mraz has recently put the finishing touches on his live DVD Beautiful Mess: Live from Earth, due out Nov. 10. The last record-setting chart topper on the Billboard singles list was LeAnn Rimes, who did it with 1990’s “How Do I Live.”
The sole purpose of this article is that I’ve listened to We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. It’s a boring, no frills, ho-hum album. Aside from the fact that it feels somewhat timeless and has a decided nod to the mid-70s, there isn’t a whole lot of oomph or anything of particular substance at work on the disc. “Lucky,” his duet with Colbie Caillat is average, and “I’m Yours,” literally has the simplicity of a song written by any run-of-the-mill, college freshman in a dorm room stairway. This is not meant as an attack on Mraz by any stretch. Waiting for My Rocket to Come and Mr. A-Z were both tremendous albums, the former being the slightly more consistent effort. And while We Sing, We Dance is a nice album, it’s not exactly the stuff that legends are made of. Which makes his 71-week run atop the Billboard charts all that more surprising. When history gets written and the world remembers Mraz, is this the album we want to remember him by? This sprite, fluffy, bare-bones, lyrically weak collection?
As someone who has interviewed Mraz, I have nothing but the highest reverence for him. He’s comical, candid and wholly engaging, and most importantly, he’s a solid presence in the music world. He keeps his nose clean, he plays by the rules and he wins over fans daily. I just have a hard time with this album and an even harder time wrestling with the fact that when it’s all said and done, history will be judged by this overly underwhelming album. Le sigh.